Clean Eating OR Eat Like My Grandmother

While the inspiration for this blog came from ensuring that our family recipes live a long, long time, I also want my family to be happy and healthy. Every day we make decisions about what food to eat. Being intentional with our choices allows us to be happy and healthy and enjoy life to the fullest. We are so fortunate to have multiple opportunities to decide what food to eat.

I believe in “clean eating.” It’s not a new concept. My grandparents ate clean and their parents before them. My grandparents were eating organic before eating organic was “cool.” They often ate fresh from their gardens, organic, no preservatives or added chemicals. …eating foods that are as close to their natural states as possible. Mamaw, my grandmother cooked from scratch. She lived to be 91 even though she fell into the trap of prepackaged and foods with added preservatives in the early 60’s. I still attribute her longevity and good health to the natural, home-grown, and locally-sourced foods of her childhood.

The best advice I can give my kids, and to everyone, is to cook at home as often as possible. You can eat better and healthier. And it’s more affordable. For a short period of time my son had an organic garden and raised chickens. Yes, right in the Santa Monica and Venice Beach area. As Allan says, “My son the chicken farmer.”

Clean eating is really a simple concept. It is not a diet. It is not black and white. Clean eating is about eating whole foods that are minimally prepared. Avoid frying, boiling and smothering your food.

I’ve listed a few tips to get you started. Edit: Since I wrote the original post I have been following “gut healthy/antinflammatory diet.” Most of the time!

Clean Eating Tips – Don’t Eat Junk

  • Stay away from processed foods (If it comes in a box, don’t eat it)
  • Stay away from fried foods
  • Stay away from refined grains
  • Limit saturated fats
  • Limit sugar and NO ADDED SUGARS or Artificial Sweeteners
  • Limit salt
  • Eat plain, whole-milk dairy. Low-fat will have added sugars
  • Eat more whole grains
  • Eat more whole fruits. Don’t forget berries. Freeze your own blueberies for snacks.
  • Go Green! Eat more veggies – try new vegatables every week
  • Limit alchohol. However, wine can be part of a clean diet. (Wine is a fermented food and studies show it improves the bacterial micro flora of our intestines)
  • No Coke. In Texas “Coke” means any soft drink! DDP included. Sorry sisters!
  • Drink 1/2 your body weight in water!!!!

 THE EDIT – Gut Healthy/Antinflammatory Tips

  • Gluten-Free. I’m gluten-free most of the time. I just feel better. (Not all “gluten-free” products are created equal. Many “gluten-free” products are highly processed and have a high glycemic index) Patricia is the Glycemic Index expert.Side bar: According to Wheat Belly author Dr. William Davis, “this thing being sold to us called wheat—it ain’t wheat. It’s this stocky little high-yield plant, a distant relative of the wheat our mothers used to bake muffins, genetically and biochemically light-years removed from the wheat of just 40 years ago.”“And now scientists are starting to connect modern wheat with all manner of chronic digestive and inflammatory illnesses.”
  • Less sugar (a lot less) and NO MORE than 10 g of Added Sugars/day
  • NO Artificial sweetners
  • Dairy Free – No soy – including soy milk or yogurt (I’m dairy free 90% of the time. I love cheese!)
  • Limit red meat to once a week. This is a tough one for Allan.
  • Eat more veggies
  • Eat more whole fruits (don’t forget the berries)
  • Limit alchohol
  • Limit caffeine
  • Drink 1/2 your body weight in water!!!!

While some foods are well know to cause inflamation or gut issues, everyone is different. Through a process of eliminating foods and then adding foods back, one at a time, I was able to learn what foods were causing gut issues.

Eating clean is the new black.

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